Want to add video functionality to your product, service, or application? You're going to need a video application programming interface (API).
Sure, you can find plenty of out-of-the-box video platforms and solutions out there, but these don't allow customization, flexibility, and scale like a dedicated video API.
But that’s not to say that you can buy truly innovative video applications—oh no, you have to build them. And thanks to a premium video platform, you don't have to construct it from the ground up—you can get a jump-start with an API.
Below, we'll walk you through what a video API is and how you can use it to deliver top-notch customer (and developer) experiences.
What is a video API?
A video API lets you add video functionality to your application, products, services, or website by connecting to an online video platform provider. Video APIs also empower you to add on-demand video, live streaming, real-time 1:1 meetings, group chats, and more.
For example, imagine you’re a healthcare provider who wants to host videos on your mobile application while ensuring compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You might want to provide:
- Exercise video libraries
- HIPAA-compliant 1:1 meetings with clients
- Employee team meetings
- Live-streaming all hands
- Videos with quizzes
- Virtual classrooms
Without a video API, you would need to build a complex application—requiring plenty of developers and experience. With an API, on the other hand, you could write a few lines of code and get your app up and running with video functionality in no time.
Video API use cases
Here are a few ways you can use video APIs to improve your product, service, or application:
- 1:1 video chats: Host secure GDPR-compliant meetings.
- Group video chats: Bring together 3 or more video participants.
- Video on demand: Provide videos your users can watch when they want.
- Live streaming: Live stream to your audience.
- Video playback: Add your branding and let users change the resolution, speed, and captions tailored to their preferences.
- Video analytics: Learn important audience information like playtime, rewind time stamps, viewing location, and video recommendations.
- Interactive video: Empower users to interact with quizzes, surveys, real-time chat, and more.
Benefits of a video API
So why should someone use a video API rather than building video solutions or using out-of-the-box platforms? Here are a few of the benefits of a video API:
- Customize everything: Change everything from the branding to the video playback user interface to provide the perfect experience your customers need.
- Streamline development: Use a video API that lets you tap into video functionality from the get-go without expensive developer resources and trial and error.
- Add advanced functionality: Append advanced functionality (virtual backgrounds, video recordings, and noise cancellation) to your applications in minutes instead of months with a video API.
- Integrate anywhere: Add video functionality to any website, desktop application, mobile application, or platform.
How to choose the right video API
As you can see, video APIs provide next-level customer experiences. But how do you find the right one for your needs?
Every platform and solution will have unique needs, but here are a few criteria to keep in mind as you explore your video API options:
- Affordability: Pay for exactly what you need—nothing more, nothing less.
- Video SDKs: Streamline development with software development kits.
- Documentation: Choose a platform that has extensive documentation, demos, and sample code.
- Customization: Pick a platform that empowers you to build a one-of-a-kind video experience.
- Noise cancellation: Block out background noise with high-quality audio powered by artificial intelligence technology.
- Video recording: Record your video and audio tracks for editing, mixing, and publishing later.
- Permissions: Control which meetings to record to protect user privacy.
- Video analytics: Learn how video performs within your application make data-backed changes and improvements.
- Low latency: Choose the best geolocation to support your video application.
- Uptime: Find a video API provider with a high uptime that you can trust.
- GDPR compliance: Keep your data secure and compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Build a better video experience with Twilio's video API
Twilio Video empowers you to build customized video experiences for applications at scale. So whether you need a virtual platform for hiring or HIPAA-compliant 1:1 and group calls for your healthcare practice, Twilio's video API does it all.
See for yourself. Launch a 1:1 video application for free or start a free trial to build a group video calling application. Find the right starter plan on our Video pricing page.